A Seoul court handed down a suspended prison term to the daughter of late president Roh Moo-hyun on Wednesday for engaging in illicit foreign currency transaction.
The Seoul Central District Court sentenced Roh Jeong-yeon to four months in jail suspended for a year after she was found guilty of buying an apartment in New Jersey in 2008 with around W1.3 billion (US$1=W1,066) without reporting the transfer.
The presiding judge said Roh "should have set an example as the child of a former president."
Roh bought the apartment overlooking the Hudson River in northern New Jersey back in 2007 from a Korean-American lawyer named Gyeong Yeon-hee, paying $400,000 as a deposit, according to court records.
The deposit was wired through a false-name account by Park Yeon-cha, a wealthy businessman who had been a supporter of her father. After being pressured by Gyeong to pay the rest of the downpayment, Roh illegally transferred W1.3 billion in January 2009 through illicit foreign currency transaction in violation of Korean laws.
Former first lady Kwon Yang-sook told prosecutors she gave her daughter the W1.3 billion, which she saved from money given by guests and friends when they visited the former president during and after his tenure.
Prosecutors also investigated Kwon but dropped the charges. Gyeong was slapped with a W15 million fine and summarily indicted but refused to appear in court.
The former president committed suicide in May 2009 after jumping off a cliff behind his retirement home as the probe into the suspicious apartment deal widened.